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Monday, September 1, 2008

Arafat killed US diplomats, but US continued to negotiate with PLO

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2008/09/arafat-killed-us-diplomats-but-us.html

A story in Ha'aretz reveals that the CIA knew that Yasser Arafat had ordered the murder of the Ambassador and his deputy in Khartoum, Sudan, but Henry Kissinger  instructed the CIA to continue diplomatic contacts with Yasser Arafat's PLO before the Yom Kippur war. At the time, the US insisted it would not negotiate with the PLO. Later it claimed the negotiations concerned only security. In fact, there were secret diplomatic negotiations.
 
Diplomatic negotiations were held between Robert Ames of the CIA and the head of the Fatah's security apparatus, Ali Hassan Salameh, who was also the commander of the Fatah's Black September organization. Salameh was killed in Beirut in 1979 in an operation conducted by the Mossad and naval commandos.

Ames,  head of the CIA's Middle Eastern department, was killed in an Iranian-ordered attack on the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in 1983. 

Helms' documents reveal that Arafat sent Salameh to the talks without hiding his responsibility for killing American diplomats in Khartoum in March 1973. Ames also agreed to Salameh's requests and asked Washington about various diplomatic issues, such as the Nixon administration's intentions relating to Palestinian interests.

Salameh told Ames that the PLO was working to topple King Hussein and establish a Palestinian state in Jordan. Unperturbed, Washington responded that if the Palestinians want to negotiate a settlement, the U.S. would be happy to hear their proposals, but the toppling of existing governments through the use of force did not seem to be the most promising way.

Arafat threatened, via Ames, that he would burn Beirut if the Lebanese government acted against the PLO.
 
The newly-released material also describes the Egyptian initiative in the spring of 1973 to plead with the U.S., through Iranian channels, to reach an arrangement with Israel "on the basis of the Rogers plan," a withdrawal from the occupied territories captured in 1967 and placing them under international supervision. The Rogers plan did not promise, nor did Egypt offer, peace with Israel, though the Ha'aretz article mentions a "peace agreement."  

The documents also reveal that the US and others knew quite a bit about the planned Yom Kippur war well in advance. The Shah of Iran evidently knew of Egyptian attack plans, and recommended to Egyptian foreign minister Muhammad Hassan al-Zayyat that Egypt content itself with an artillery barrage against Israeli positions on the Suez Canal instead of an attack crossing the canal.

In a telegram Helms sent Kissinger - then Richard Nixon's National Security Advisor - on July 5, 1973, Helms reported that King Hussein of Jordan told him that Jordanian intelligence had learned of a Syrian attack to recapture the Golan Heights originally planned for June, that had been delayed but could take place at any time. One of the Jordanian intelligence sources was the commander of a Syrian armored brigade, and the Jordanians had obtained a copy of the battle plans, which had been coordinated with Egypt and Iraq.
 

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